HOWARD COUNTY, Ind. — The Howard County community will remember fallen Deputy Carl Koontz with a lantern release Wednesday night.
Koontz was shot three years ago while serving a warrant in Russiaville. Sgt. Jordan Buckley was also shot during the incident but survived.
Koontz, a three-year veteran of the department, was airlifted from Howard County to IU Health Methodist Hospital for surgery but succumbed to his wounds. The governor ordered flags to be flown at half staff at state facilities after his death. His funeral was March 29, 2016.
Koontz was 26 years old and two weeks away from his 27th birthday when he was killed. He left behind his wife, Kassandra, and their son, Noah, who was seven months old at the time. Kassandra Koontz organized the lantern release, which is scheduled for 8 p.m. Wednesday at Albright Cemetery in Kokomo.
“Three years seems like yesterday,” she wrote in a Facebook post Tuesday night. “I’m not sure if it’ll ever seem like the number of years has passed.”
She continued, “Tonight like other nights I miss you and hate that you are not here with us, but I do know you are watching over us and giving us those little signs that I and someday Noah will cherish so deeply!”
Kassandra wrote that she and her son will never forget him:
We remember the love and support you showed us and to everyone that was in your life. We remember the kind of officer you were “ONE OF THE GOOD ONES.” We remember that amazing husband you once were! We remember that unexpected “yes, yes, yes” when we announced we were expecting a boy, we remember the beautifying twinkle in your pretty blue eyes every time you talked or was around Noah. But tonight and tomorrow we remember you, you wouldn’t want us to be sad you would want us to find a reason to smile.
The Howard County Sheriff’s Office posted a tribute to the fallen deputy on its Facebook page, writing, “Your sacrifice for this county will NEVER be forgotten!”